Monday, October 24, 2011

A Long Busy Weekend

This weekend started early, but I'm really glad to go back to work today.

Thursday and Friday were no-school days due to conferences. Thursday was spent sleeping a lot. I didn't wake up for anything until almost 1pm. I think its funny how my dogs are every bit as lazy as I feel like being. In bed all morning long? No problem, we'll support you in that endeavor, hehe.

Friday I was confused, thinking it should be Saturday. We got notification that even though we'd checked, we missed a statute somewhere. Even though the housing people don't mind there being a camper in the second driveway with people sleeping in it, the county does. It counts as camping, which can only be done in designated camping areas. I really wanted a tent to pop up next door so I could throw that back in their faces. No camping out kids, county says no! The neighbors really must have called everyone they could think of to make a nuisance of themselves. I hope they are religious and believe in that do-unto-your-neighbor junk. And that they then end up in a situation where they depend on friends for assistance. And then I want some jerk neighbors of those to do everything in their power to F it all up. I believe this would be a much better alternative than some that entered my mind.

Why do people have to be so nosy, and then offended when what they find is not to their liking? I don't go around telling everyone to paint everything green because that happens to be MY favorite color. I appreciate that other people have their own favorite colors. (The world would be very boring in all green anyway, I think.)

We tried to go to Home Depot that night to get supplies. Jamie priced things out and realized we had enough to do the project right then, which is a good thing. We were notified of the possible $750 fine, but only given a as-soon-as-possible deadline to fix the situation. That's sort of an ambiguous uncomfortable feeling of $750 doom, you know? The store was closed, however. The website lied about their hours, and at 8:30pm the employees all turn into pumpkins. I saw them all outside.

So Saturday morning we were up at 6am purchasing wood and insulation. We got home and Jamie made us girls french toast for breakfast. Tig left the house with yummy breakfast, and I had a happy full tummy to tackle the project with.

I don't have photos, but the wall-building actually went fairly trouble-free. We had trouble getting the door in just the perfect spot to clear both the outside light (this room used to be a car port) and concrete step. But finally we got it. The insulation was a little fun. It didn't look to me like enough, but it was squished really well. We had about 10 feet extra. It was 6 inch insulation and we were using 2x4s, so the last piece, which had time to expand, was trying to escape as the plywood was being screwed in over it. Kind of funny. The door is an extra one our friends had. They replaced the door to little Marty's room with an exterior one, so they could cut out the decorative panels on top and screen them, making it nice and open for sound to travel through, but still keep cats out if need be. We get the original door for the new wall.

Eventually I think the camper will be removed, but both Tig and I want it to stay as the eyesore that irritates the neighbor in the first place. We can comply with county rules and not really change anything in that regard. I'm evil, I guess. If the trailer gets moved I may park my bike out in front of our new exit door. There is a tiny space between the room and the fence- just right for a bike and not much else.

There was trouble with this particular room leaking. I think we fixed that, because yesterday I spent 2 hours up on the roof throwing junk off it. Jamie helped clean out the gutter with a hose and I had latex gloves on while I jammed my fingers in the alleys of the corrugated metal to scoop out the black and earthy-smelling stuff that I bet would make excellent potting soil by now. Today the backs of my hands are slightly bruised from doing the scooping, but at the time nothing was uncomfortable in the slightest. I fed the hose in from various spots and little by little I washed the stuff that I couldn't scoop out carefully down to the gutter exit. After we got the gutter completely clear I spent the second hour clearing the higher side so it didn't get washed down and undo all that clearing work. The gutter has only one downspout so it wouldn't take much to block things up again. We're pretty certain that the leaks should be fixed, now.

I also got to wear my new helmet today! On Friday I was given a field trip to take a football team from one school to the other local school. Easy. Turns out, it was an accidental double trip due to a time change. The players were already loaded on the bus that had been sitting there for hours, so I got to drive right back down the road to the bus shop and park. I took advantage of the great timing of a text message  to go the rest of the way to Walmart and get the helmet set they had just notified me was available for pickup.

I got the Kryptonics 4-in-1 ladies set which includes a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist pads, an extra thicker front pad to help get a better fit on the helmet, and a flower sticker. They all come in a pretty light blue color, although if there was pink, I'd have gotten pink.
The color is actually lighter than in this picture from the Kryptonics website, and my buckles and such are a matching gray instead of black, with the exception of the little rubber ring which keeps extra strap length from flapping around. This is the helmet though, and I like it a lot. It's really just a plastic shell with styrofoam inside. but its awesome for its simplicity. I figured with less vents, this helmet would be more appropriate for winter, but it actually has very good airflow inside. My forehead was always hot in my Airius helmet, and this one has air going straight there instead. Even though it was 36F outside this morning (didn't feel nearly as cold as I thought it was) the air was refreshing. When it gets too cold to enjoy the breeze, though, I can fit a winter hat under here. The first time I put the new helmet on, though, I pinched a blood blister into my neck, so I'll have to be more careful. Also, there is a gap in the inner pads they call a ponytail channel so hair won't get caught on anything, but there really isn't any room for a ponytail. I'd have to scoop out some of the styrofoam, which I'm not about to do. I really don't mind this part, because with my other helmet, hair had to be either down, or in a braided ponytail anyway. Not having to thread hair through the cinching back plastic strap is fine with me.

I fail at keeping these short.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Car Attack!

No, not an accident on my bicycle!

This weekend was mostly good, with a teeny bad part of this morning.

We decided to give the car its first Oregon bath before packing things up to go play D&D. Before now, the car would sometimes decide not to start. Usually, we were in a hurry to get home or in otherwise bad moods or something, and would get home and fail to look for a cause as to why the poor car had misbehaved.

Well, the heroic Caprice needed a jump from the Camaro that morning.

Then, it got some further tender loving care as we used our brand new sponges bought just for car-loving worked up some suds all on it. It got a nice scrub-down. Tire cleaner too!
Then we realized that the gauge was reading a low charge. Jamie found not only the wire connecting to the battery loose this time, but also the connection to the alternator itself. Now the car is all the way happy, yay!

I am not particularly thrilled with the way the globe is shaping up. The two sections are taped together now, and it is decisively not sphere-shaped. Jamie assures me it will turn out just fine, but for now I skipped it to work on a more fun project. Suffice to say that one is complete in one evening. I have pictures, but it's a surprise! Soon, you shall see my handiwork, until then, sit in suspenseful suspense.

I created an Etsy account. I have nothing to sell yet, but Jamie thinks I should list my crafty things for sale on there. All hail FrogBeads, soon to be Etsy millionaire.

We tried Alton Brown's method of making beef jerky, where he uses furnace filters and a box fan instead of a  store-bought dehydrator. That way there is no heat to partially cook the jerky as its drying out. We ran into some trouble with this method. We had 4 filters, so three with meat and a fourth to cover the top layer. I personally think the meats were laid out too thick, contributing to lower airflow. There were some larger pieces instead of Alton's thin strips. Also, our jerky STUCK to the filters. Badly. I spent at least half an hour de-fuzzing the jerky. Because of the lower air flow than we expected, the jerky furthest out wasn't completely dried, and was sort of springy. Closer to the fan there was almost great jerky. Now we know for next time. I want to try again, Jamie is all for buying another dehydrator- it does seem to do the job faster, and Jamie loves jerky a lot.

And lastly, this morning's ickiness. I named this post car attack not only for the black car insisting on some attention, but I'm pretty sure a car is the ultimate reason to blame for my second flat bicycle tire. I swear, I checked the inside and outside of the tire thoroughly when I got the first one, however, I did not use the cotton ball trick mentioned on This is where you would use a cotton ball, notorious for getting caught on even the tiniest snags to make sure that the offending sharp was indeed gone from the tire. This way you wouldn't put a new tube in only to have it also punctured.

Well.... I put a new tube in only to have it also punctured. This time when I was searching, there was a plainly stabby teensy tiny wire sticking out. I had to get my tweezers to pull it out. It's 2/16 of an inch, if you're interested to know how small something has to be to put me in a bad mood for a Monday morning. (I also learned yet ANOTHER discrepancy between states- Oregon wants you to throw on your warning lights and open your door to mirror any bus you meet going the other way. In Florida this was a very bad no-no. I personally don't like having to open my door and getting cold, not to mention it feels unsafe to do it. I was not happy to learn that this morning.) Anyway, I think the wire came from a blown up car tire. Now the original tube is back on the bike and the replacement tube is patched and waiting in the wings.

OH! And my bus (ok so its not a car) hates me too. This morning I'm driving along, waiting for the heaters to wake up and do their job, when I get to around the 4th bus stop, and my gauge suddenly switches to the Voltmeter at just above 9. Not only did I get a heart attack because that was supposed to be reading fuel, but  I'm quickly loosing power. I call it in and the bus shop asks me to see if I can make the school. So I turn everything except outside lights off. Apparently the transmission is very much electric, because in a minute or so it shows a big fat filled-in digital zero instead of a happy 5, and lights up the ecomonic red button and big red Check Trans indicator. I am then driving along with even slower acceleration. I'm closing the door practically on student's heels to shut off the flashing lights and only pulling the parking brake- there is no shifting to neutral, because I'm afraid it wouldn't come out again even if it went in. We do make it to school, but it was a quieter ride than usual, with only a couple calls to "turn on the heat!" I also putter into the bus shop and find out that the transmission will do nothing but putter forward, so instead of parking I pull around front again and a mechanic takes over.

However, the day is not lost forever to the deepest depths of Monday hatred! Sunday was Boss' Day. One of our office ladies brought donuts. I had 3 chocolate frosted chocolate cake ones with Halloween sprinkles.

Then I felt better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Of Ladybugs and Tires...

Monday was rainy and dreary ( I drove), but Tuesday morning was a great morning.

This was actually Oct 3, but yesterday was just like this picture.

It was cool but not cold, with a gorgeous sky and neat orange light. I got to wake up an hour later than usual due to a scheduled late start for schools. In addition to all that, I had company on my commute!

This little guy on my streamers made me think of my twin, of course. I was hoping the whole time that he wouldn't fall off and be lost miles from home. I was very happy when I got to work and there he was, still hanging on for dear life.

I drove my route, then came back to find him still there, probably scared stiff. He made it all the way back home too, where I lifted him off and onto a leaf. Now he has a crazy adventure story to tell all his ladybug pals.

Today was cold at 31 degrees. I overdressed, but I was pretty comfortable anyway. I wore my thin girl's jeans, with those new soft flowered pajama pants underneath. I wore my ribbed green turtleneck shirt over my Danskin tank top. I love the way the fabric of the tank top hugs my middle and seems to keep it warm or cool. I wore my green striped knee socks and boots. I also had my windbreaker and the white hat under my helmet. The hat was really just to keep my ears warm, and I think if my head was more uncovered, I'd have been perfect. As it was, I unzipped my windbreaker right after starting, and tugged my turtleneck down looser. I started off with just my striped gloves, then due to chill I added the pink over them. My fingers felt colder somehow that way, so I rolled those back off. It was weird.

After driving the bus (twice- I got to hang around for quite a while wasting time and then take one really cute 3-year-old home), I got back to the shop to find my front tire flat! Actually, the mechanic saw it as I was rolling the bike out and having trouble with my kickstand again. It had come loose and was trying to dump my bike sideways when I was trying to shut the door behind me.

Instead, we rolled the bike back inside, and my bus-turned-bike mechanic fiddled with that annoying bolt. It took a minute to find the correct size allen wrench (8mm) because there is a tiny burr inside the hex. A hammer fixed that promptly. Kickstand tight, he then proceeded to add air to my tires after I checked and did not find anything sharp. I rode home in a great mood even though I was hungry.

The bus aide and I discussed restaurants on our drive, and he recommended a Wubba's brownie after I said that Casey's has awesome pie. So then of course I was not only hungry but craving brownies. Jamie completely indulged my request for lunch and we went to Wubba's with the puppies. Grunt and Jack waited patiently in the cool car while we ate. The waiter brought me this HUGE brownie that I would share with two other people. Instead, I had a take-home box with puppy treats (half a cheeseburger patty plus corn fritter and fries) and one for a brownie.

My front tire was flat when we got back home, so I drove to work. After my route, I drove to Walmart and got a $5 tube. Yay for cheap fixes! I did my first actual flat tire fix, which was easy being the front wheel with a quick release skewer. I was fumble-fingered, so it took longer than needed, plus I was in no particular rush. I needed a sensitive cheek to actually locate the air leaking out from an invisible hole. I still couldn't actually find it, even knowing where it was, so I dunked the tube section in the doggie pool. Bubbles!

I didn't find the cause, but there is a puncture hole on the tire tread opposite the tube stem. It doesn't show on the inside at all. Maybe it was one of those goathead thorns I was warned about at the bike shop? Could also have been a tiny glass piece, there are enough places that I called the county to ask for street sweepers. They haven't come yet.

In any case, new tube in, old tube patched with rubber cement stuck on my fingers, and voila! Good as new. Bike servicing is much easier than for a car! And cheaper. Next time I won't even have to buy a new tube, hopefully, if I did the patch right.

I received a call from a school today too. I go in for an interview 8am Friday (haha, no school that day for grades). I had asked about a paraprofessional position that I might be able to do in between morning and afternoon routes. Its actually at the same school I service, which is nice, and right down the road from the bus shop. If I get the job it will mean a larger steady check, rather than the uncertainty of substituting on random routes with the odd trip thrown in. Trips pay much better, but with them coming in sporadic bursts, I feel its more beneficial to me and Jamie to have a predictable income. My regular route is very short, which is not acceptable by itself as a career to pay bills with. I still feel slightly guilty that if I accept the job, I won't be able to help out at a moment's notice. Oh well.

What a great week so far.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fire! drills

As the title suggests, today I assisted with bus evacuation drills at another school. I explained regular bus rules, emergency exits and safety equipment, what to do if I'm incapacitated (they got a kick out of my demonstration of throwing my radio microphone out the window- THUD), and how to evacuate. The other buses had two classes, but I only had one class of 40 students to talk to. One chaperone was very nice and came by with a 1 minute warning, which was just at the point I was about done. I yelled "fire!" and they all promptly got off. I had the last girl checking seats as she came up and she grabbed the first aid kit. The counts from the guy at the door and the one at the site 100 feet away were matching. Yay, we got everybody except your poor dead bus driver. Have a good day!

Another awesome part of today is that I will be filling in for an elementary route before my high school. More money is good.

And lastly, this weekend brought gifts! T got lots of clothes from a friend of hers, and we went through them last night. I get snow pants! Also a few cute and warm sweaters, and several shirts, some even long-sleeved. I really thought a white one with tiny flowers all over was cute, until we found matching pants- they are a pajama or long underwear set. I can't guarantee the shirt won't be worn a lot as a regular shirt- I thought it was adorable. Several items are labeled maternity, but other than two sleeveless shirts with darts below the empire waistline (just below bust), I wouldn't have been able to tell. T says they just get to charge lots of extra money when it says "maternity" on it. A load through the wash just to be sure, and I'll have pictures soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday Eve!

Today dawned foggy and cold, but not raining. I rode my bike :)

My clothing: helmet, white beanie, thin long-sleeve AE t-shirt, orange sweater, windbreaker, both kid gloves- stripes over the pink, thin socks, stirrup leggings, thick socks, corduroy pants, sneakers. Oh and my scarf.

I ended up being overdressed. My fingers were sort of chilly, but not numb or hurting. My torso got warm, and like always the windbreaker ended up unzipped. I ended up removing it completely, and the wind chilled my arms only a little. This actually made my hands feel warmer, maybe because I had something to distract my brain from them. My legs were fine, but after I stopped my thighs felt cold and tingly. Feet were awesome, but my sneakers felt confining. I ended up loosening my scarf a lot as my body got hot, but it worked very well when starting out just to keep my chin warm.

I had trouble for the first time with my glasses fogging up. I'm not sure if it's the warmth of my watering eyes making heat near the lenses, or just general temperature shifts that I can't feel. I was careful to breathe downward like usual- which is normal for me anyway. The lenses fogged from the top down, so that's why I thought maybe moisture on my eyelashes, being closer to the lenses and at the top, might have caused it. Much worse and I'll have to figure out a solution, but today they were only bad near the end of the trip.

I saw three deer with great big comical round ears in a yard during my afternoon run. I pointed at them, but my brain-to-tongue connection failed me and I didn't say anything. One girl who was paying attention was happy I pointed them out. The kids on the bus have gotten much less antagonistic now that I'm a regular face, I think. The girls get wildly goofy-giggly, and I can see myself having to remind them to calm down a little as a regular thing. There is a boy that sits up front who liked video games, and he constantly hums various Mario tunes in the afternoons. I happen to like them so I don't mind at all, and sometimes he gets them stuck in my head.

We went grocery shopping at Wal-mart. After this morning, I'm sure I need something better for gloves, and with snow threatening, I definitely want something to be able to play in it. Snowmen, of course! So for around $8 I now have a pair of Faded Glory gloves with 80 grams Thinsulate (70 is for moderate activity or cold conditions, 100 for light activity or very cold conditions). Brown, with some blue stitching. They'll match my bike bag! When I get it made... The gloves are very soft inside without squeezing my fingers like some I tried on. The fingers are slightly too short, but I'm very used to that in gloves and they are maneuverable (in the fat-fingered glove kind of way) enough that I don't notice too much.

Wow and it's later than I thought it was. Tomorrow is Friday, but I don't want to be too sleepy just yet. I have a choice of hot oatmeal or english muffins, or cold cereal for breakfast. I'm thinking oatmeal, yummy.
Goodnight everyone!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And Today's Too

Well, today is the first day I had to admit defeat and drive the car. Oh I probably could have suffered the commute by bike this morning, but that's just what it would have been: suffering.

I used The Weather Channel for my zip code, like I do all the time, and it called for rain most of the day today. Not surprising at all, but I did ride to work with a few stray sprinkles yesterday, and I know I'm not prepared for cold rain. Actually, Jamie was incredibly sweet and understanding yesterday. Instead of just reminding me that I have a car available to use or offering to drive me, he offered to strap the bike rack to the car and drive me and my (still nameless, people!) bike to work, so I could still ride home. My husband is really awesome. I remember thinking it a little odd that B would choose to tackle the bridge and ride his bike to work when we offered him rides. Now I get it. It's just plain fun. Maybe not always in a "whee, yahoo" sort of way, but riding my bike always makes me feel better, even if I had to fight up the bunny hill with a headwind.

So, the promise of rain sort of freaked me out. I have my nylon windbreaker, but was it waterproof? Where on earth is my big fluffy jacket that declares itself "all-weather?" I think it is currently under the camper mattress acting as padding, but oh well. T promptly solved my windbreaker worries in typical simple fashion- she happens to have waterproofing spray. Brilliant! Simply wash your garment, spray this stuff on and throw it in the dryer to set the spray (and of course dry). The spray is Granger's G-Line Waterproofing, and T had it for when she tried snowboarding once. My windbreaker this morning doesn't feel any different, but I felt better about the me vs. rain match-up.

I got up this morning, changed, put on a baseball hat (to keep glasses mostly free from falling water), stuffed my pink gloves down inside the rubber ones I've acquired from cleaning my bus, put an extra pair of pants, socks, and my water shoes into a garbage bag with my other stuff, and set off.

And promptly turned around.

I should have had a long sleeve layer under my windbreaker. I should have another layer of pants, or at least something to keep them dry. I should probably have shoe protection against the water, and definitely more/better socks. My hands were already cold and starting to hurt a little. Cold sprinkles hit my face. I was already later than I'd like to have been. So I decided this was stupid. Just because I had the spirit and wish to commute in the cold rain, and eventually snow, didn't mean I was actually ready and prepared to do so yet.

I drove, feeling very much too close to the ground because both my bicycle and a school bus sit higher, and resenting the heater which of course was barely warm in the 3 miles it took to get to work. Then I had to figure out where to park! If I wasn't generally unhappy about the whole thing, I'd have laughed. The temperature was only 37 F (only, as in- I know it will get much colder, and I've already ridden in this temperature, why is a little water such a drastic variation?).

...Winter is going to kick my butt.

Tuesday's Post

Currently the internet here is broken, so I’m writing this with the intent to transfer it to blogger at some later point. Oh well. If I hadn’t told you, you’d never know. Obviously, if you're reading this: fixed!

Today the weather seems to have gotten me. We’ve had gray skies all weekend, and today was no different. It is gray, and windy, and cold. I came home and Jamie was awake, so we took a blazing hot shower. Hot water and cuddles didn’t really help, though they were nice. I asked Jamie to make me breakfast. We had yummy egg sandwiches. I was still bleh, so I reheated my chai tea latte (latte means with milk, I guess). I’ll tell anyone who will listen that it’s my favorite drink- it smells and tastes like Christmas in a cup. But it didn’t help either. So I went out to the chilly trailer and finally put all the clean clothes away. I had been meaning to reorganize so I could reach things better instead of having to crawl over the bench seats to get dressed.
The wind on the way to work was strong and gusty. I felt like I fought the whole way. I was trying to hurry too, because it was after 2:30, when I normally like to leave the house. I passed all the kids getting out of school and waved at crossing guards, who delayed a crossing a few seconds so I could pedal past. One young boy on a little yellow BMX bike was going down the sidewalk and we were next to each other for a minute. He asked if I wanted to race. I laughed and said I’d love to, but I’d spent the last 3 miles fighting this wind and I was tired. That’s not quite true. Home to work is 2.9 miles according to Google and I wasn’t quite there. But I kept up with him a bit until he slowed for a friend. I arrived at work a teeny bit worried that I’d step off the bike and fall, my legs were so tired. (But I didn’t walk up the hill!) But by the time I reached the door to dismount, I was fine. My mood had been forcibly worked off, I think.

I’m happy to say I also now have an inside parking spot. I wheel my bike into the hallway and then through the door immediately left leading to the garage/shop. Then I sort of manhandle my bike behind that door with its front wheel skewed. It’s a tight fit, but completely out of the way, in a space were dripping won’t matter if it rains. No more sitting outside collecting lot dust, yay!

For the first time on my bike, my hands got cold (with my gloves, I mean). I was wearing my pink kid gloves. I wonder if, being solid color, they are somehow thinner than my multi-color striped gloves? The stripes did fine both to and from work this afternoon, which I don’t think was any warmer than the trip home this morning. I didn’t wear a hat, but the first trip in the dark this morning had my ears unhappy about it. I’ve also noticed my sneakers starting to show their age. My right shoe now has a small hole where the fabric is separating on the outside of the crease where the toe bends. My gorgeous white shoes from Uncle Jimmy are still pristine- I’m afraid to wear them and make them dirty…

Jamie just received his birthday presents today from his dad. My father in-law has an awesome sense of humor. Jamie’s gift arrived in this bag:

He got a T-shirt that said he loves animals, but he’d pound the hell out of a beaver. It’s hilarious, but I honestly don’t know if Jamie will ever wear it, hehe. However, I’m definitely inclined to wear mine on particularly bad days:

People say I have a bad attitude…

Should have removed the sticker. Oh well. It’s one step worse than the black shirt I have with green letters that says “People say I have a bad attitude. Those people are stupid.” I love it.

And since I’m feeling better, I’ll share a picture from the end of last week. The clouds actually were gorgeous before they expanded to blot out the warm light with their gloomy grayness. The weatherguesser says we may see the sun on Friday. It seems so far away…!

Also, Questionable Content  is awesome! Jamie made sure I saw this one, of course.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yay October!

The end of this week was pretty cool.

Friday, I was asked to do a field trip to take a football team to another school nearby for an away game. I got there on time, but the coach had me go around the back of the school so the players could load their gear easier. It took forever. People apparently do not know how to pack into spaces. I helped load some things like Gatorade buckets. The players said I was awesome at that point. As they started to get sort of blank stared about how to fit things, I directed smaller items under seats, had bags of pads stacked higher, and asked a couple players to hold their smaller bags of pads in their laps in order to set the Gatorade in their seats next to them. I have undercarriage storage, but for some reason the coaches declined those. Finally we left the school, and I knew I would be late for my afternoon run.

The coaches were impressed with the way I swung through the parking lot. Really I was not taking any undue risks near the parked cars, but I'm sure it looks more impressive from a passenger position when the mirrors aren't showing them exactly what I can see from the driver's seat. I squeezed through the corner with no issues and the gate which was not all the way open without a problem. I don't think many drivers here actually do the field trip emergency script, because while I was using the PA system to go through emergency exits and such, the players were still making the occasional positive comment and at one point a coach acted the game show model or steward, pointing to the exits for me as I called them out. After that, however, the coaches demanded silence from the players. I get the impression that they can frequently get out of hand and test the patience of the adults. I hope I helped keep the mood light by ending the little speech with a comment along the lines of, " now the coaches have asked for silence, so save your energy for the butt-kicking you're about to do on the field."

Anyway, we got there fine, and I got to see a new part of town called the Foothills. I did end up calling over the radio to say I would be late, but as they took more time to unload, I asked if any other buses could get my students. I believe bossman hopped in a bus to get them. Frankly, I'm not sorry I didn't take them home, with their bad attitudes. I'd rather take enthusiastic and appreciative football teams to games every day.

Jamie fixed my kick stand for me. We don't have an allen key or hex-thingy big enough, so he used a flat-headed screw driver to tighten the bolt for it. He also tightened my handlebars. They decided to scare me while I was launching from a stop sign by falling down to a lower angle. I was turning left in front of a car, and while I had plenty of room, the surprise caused me to suddenly fear that the car would be on me sooner than I thought and I had the fear for a split second when that bar moved that whatever had just happened would make me wreck in front of it. I didn't, of course, and figured out which piece had moved pretty quickly. I yanked it back up once I was straightened out.

The wind! It is awful when I leave the house for my afternoon runs lately. I think I need to add 10 minutes, although it may only be five that I need, so that I don't feel like I have to fight so hard against it. I very nearly got off the bike and walked on Friday. The reason I didn't was due mostly to pride. I was able to ride up the hill to the bus shop to my surprise the first day of my commute, and I know I can do it. I also had a woman getting in her car at the base of the hill who smiled at me when I waved at her like I wave at everyone I see. I didn't want her to see me get off the bike. So I didn't.

The seasons are definitely changing here. I don't really see any bright oranges or scarlets on any trees, but there are lots of yellow leaves starting to fill the curbsides.

It was a clear pretty morning.

And I saw geese abandoning us for the south!

I love Halloween, and the residents here decided not to wait until October first to display their holiday spirit. First Halloween house! I especially like the orange skeleton crawling from the grave and the angelic one sitting  under the window.

The day ended really great as well. Still windy, but not quite such a opposing force as earlier. I made it home slightly early for not having my afternoon route, to find that the car wasn't there. I texted Jamie and asked where he was, and he replied Aftershock, with the guys from work. Today was their last day on the cabling contract for the air base. I found out that Aftershock was the restaurant and bar at the bowling alley, so I asked if he would like me to ride over and drive him home. He said yes, and I said yay!

So I rode over to the bowling alley, which is very close to work, but on a different road. Reading about railroad tracks on several different forums and blogs, I was very careful to cross them directly perpendicular, and the car right behind me didn't seem to mind at all when I had to zig across the lane. Perhaps because I checked behind and signaled pretty early to let her know what was going on. Drivers here are generally very polite to me. Maybe it's the streamers.

I got a free rootbeer from Jamie's coworker, listened to some cool music while we talked, and then Jamie and I went to dinner at a mexican place after some goodbyes. A quick stop back tot he house, and they we promptly turned back around to get Jamie some video games, since he was seriously missing some Playstation action and all his games were old. He traded them in and got Infamous and UFC. UFC is a fighting game based on the actual Ultimate Fighting Champion televised sport, and Infamous is about a guy that has electric powers and uses them for all sorts of cool things. That one is fun to watch. Once we got home I ate some icecream while watching some UFC and then we went to bed. It was a great day for me.

Happy Friday! (now Saturday)